While on deployment, and even now that we're back in port, we have an interesting format for Bible study that I thought might interest you. It's as easy as can be to run, so busy people, or those who are just starting out can do it (big surprise…you don't have to be a theologian to facilitate a Bible study). Here's how it works:
1. Pick out a time and day to meet. On our ship, Tuesdays at 7:30 pm worked best, so that's when we met. Just try to be consistent if at all possible!
2. Work through one book at a time, chapter by chapter. As the facilitator, I picked John because I knew it would give my young believers some easy-to-swallow meat. It's packed with basic doctrine and will help early Christians grow. But you choose what works for you and your group. My suggestion is to stick with a book and go chapter by chapter each meeting.
3. Read a few verses at a time, each person reading a section. Most Bibles are broken into sections of scripture, further breaking down chapters into paragraphs, or conversations. Have a person read a section, then discuss it. Then the next person reads a section, and discuss that.
4. Keep the forum open…facilitate, don't lead. We allow an open season on a section after it's read. Whoever has something to say will say it, and if it leads to a discussion, then fine, and if it doesn't then we just move on. Read the next section, and discuss. Continue that until the chapter is finished!
5. Pray at the end. I know praying at the beginning is good, and we did that too, but make sure someone prays at the end. It's only at the end that the members of your Bible study will know what they want God to remind them of during the week!
So there it is, plain and simple…my recommendations for a successful, and easy, Bible study!